Hi, my name is Derek O’Kelly and I am a Wellbeing & Performance coach.

derek o kelly imageI specialise in business, career, wellbeing and life coaching. I am also passionate about coaching in the educational sectors to assist teachers, leaders, and students achieve their career and academic goals.

I am an author, qualified teacher, sports psychologist & mental wellbeing coach – and I have spent the past twenty years researching the areas of educational psychology, human potential, positive psychology, leadership,  personal empowerment, and performance.

Coaching-Light-Bulb image

I am currently studying applied neuroscience and brain health with The Neuroscience Academy  Australia.

My coaching methodologies and approaches are gleaned from my studies and practices in the fields of positive psychology,  neuroscience, sports psychology, coaching, mental wellbeing, and educational psychology. (see further down for more)

About Coaching

Coaching can empower companies, organisations & people with the skills and knowledge to:

  • Improve performance
  • Improve wellbeing
  • Increase profits
  • Solve problems
  • Reduce stress
  • Achieve business & life goals
  • Enhance work/life balance

Coaching is a professional practice which aims to help those flourish in business and life by living and working according to strengths, striving to reach goals, and improving wellbeing and performance.

It is a process focused on collaboration and solutions, in which a coach assists and facilitates the achievement of goals.  In essence,  coaching is the professional practice of collaborating with clients in a  thought-provoking and creative process to maximise potential.  The most common objective for coaching is to gain new insight and create new habits and mindsets so clients can move towards their goals.

Coaching  has  roots  in  positive  psychology,  as  the  coaching  process  focuses  on strengths (and  builds  on  those  strengths)  and  the  positive  parts  of  one’s  daily  experience

Coaching is distinct from mentoring, therapy, and teaching.  It is future-oriented and focuses on working with a non-clinical population to achieve specific goals and work through steps needed to achieve those goals, whereas therapy focuses on pathology, clinical populations and presenting problems and diagnoses.

A coach-client relationship is viewed as an equal partnership, whereas there is an expert-novice relationship in mentoring and teaching

(Credits for coaching definition above: Grant,  2003;  Green, Oades,  Grant,  2006 – Govindji & Linley 2007 – Griffiths, 2005 – O’Grady UCC, 2019)

About Me

In addition to been a wellbeing & performance coach, I am an author and educator in the FE sectors for the past 25 years.

My most recent publication, “A Quick Start Guide to Self Care & Wellbeing”, was written to capture my mental wellbeing exploits and findings.

I am also the founder of the Winning Minds Movement – a social initiative which improves wellbeing and performance in companies, organisations, and people.

I describe myself as an educational distiller, and am the world’s first Mental Wellbeing Explorer, dedicating myself to the research and application of best practice in mental and emotional wellbeing.

I am also a director and award-winning educator at The Waverley Academy, where I have helped over 8,000 teachers & students develop careers and businesses by building their confidence and self-belief.

I am passionate about coaching, speaking –writing, researching, science communication, and simplifying complicated information so people and companies can realise their true potential.

I deliver talks and workshops – and coach companies, organisations, and people towards improving wellbeing & performance.

My core belief is Education Empowers, and I am also a mental health advocate and activist.

To arrange a free call to discuss any of your coaching needs please contact me at  dokelly33@gmail.com   Coaching can be conducted in person, online, by phone, and by email.

You can also find me at:




  • Early school leaver
  • Re-entered education at age 30.
  • Turned life around through re-education.
  • Developing education & training in the FE sector for over 27 years.
  • Director & Education Manager, The Waverley Academy (award-winning college- 1995 – present)
  • Founder – The Winning Minds Movement
  • Education manager of sports & fitness programme for FAS & SDCC (1993 to 2005)
  • Author (4 publications)
  • Education partner with  FAI
  • Education Partner with PFAI
  • Educational and Sports psychologist
  • Teacher, trainer, speaker, writer, researcher
  • Mental health advocate and activist
  • Career, life, business, performance & wellbeing coach/mentor


Core belief: Understand the mind & emotions and anything is possible

The motivation for Winning Minds Movement: To make a difference.

The Winning Minds Movement is a social initiative funded and resourced by The Waverley Academy:  www.academy.ie